The possibility of reduction of vanadate monomer in the mycelium of fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus was investigated in this study by means of polarography. Control experiments were performed with vanadyl [V(IV)] and vanadate [V(V)] in 10 mM Hepes, pH 7.2. Addition of P. blakesleeanus mycelium resulted in disappearance of all V(IV) polarographic waves recorded in the control. This points to the uptake of all available V(IV) by the mycelium, up to 185 µmol/gFW, and suggests P. blakesleeanus as a potential agent in V(IV) bioremediation. Polarographic measurements of mycelium with low concentrations (0.1-1 mM) of V(V), that only allows the presence of monomer, showed that fungal mycelia removes around 27% of V(V) from the extracellular solution. Uptake was saturated at 104 ± 2 µmol/gFW which indicates excellent bioaccumulation capability of P. blakesleeanus. EPR, 51V NMR and polarographic experiments showed no indications of any measurable extracellular complexation of V(V) monomer with fungal exudates, reduction by the mycelium or adsorption to the cell wall. Therefore, in contrast to vanadium oligomers, vanadate monomer interactions with the mycelium are restricted to its transport into the fungal cell, probably by a phosphate transporter.
Keywords: Bioaccumulation; Fungi; Polarography; Reduction; Uptake; Vanadium.